A comparison of magnet schools to traditional schools: Application of critical education theory
Cartwright, Gregory Dale
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After considerable research, it was determined that a research gap exists that examines the overall impact of school choice concerning magnet and traditional high schools. The timing is especially critical in Texas with the passing of House Bill 5, which attempts to loosen the stranglehold of standardized testing. High schools will be given the opportunity to provide creative educational opportunities to students. Many school districts are transitioning to pathway programs in an attempt to increase the academic performance of an urban population as well as high school completion. Accordingly, this dissertation attempts to operationalize critical education theory, by comparing traditional schools to magnet schools. It is believed that magnet schools offer students greater public good, in the form of a real student interaction that is supportive of students that are capable of critical thought with teachers who are viewed as professionals, not technicians. In direct opposition to this view, traditional schools have become entrenched in neoliberal practice, resulting in less alignment to student needs. What follows is an exploration of the origins of the public school system in conjunction with the examination of opposing theoretical perspectives.